New York – The History of Science auction at Bonhams New York ended with the sale of the Apple-1 computer, which sold for $905,000, almost twice its high estimate, making it the world’s most valuable relic from the computer age.
The winning bid went to a smiling representative from the Henri Ford Museum who triumphantly raised the paddle after battling it out with another interested party on the phone.
Cassandra Hatton, the senior specialist in charge of the auction comments on the success of the sale of the Apple-1, “The provenance on the Apple-1 is excellent and the condition is outstanding, so it was not surprising that it did so well. We are thrilled to have broken the world record for its sale, and are even more thrilled that it is going to a wonderful new home at the Henry Ford Museum.”
In addition to the beautifully intact motherboard, this Apple-1 comes with a vintage keyboard with pre-7400 series military spec chips, a vintage Sanyo monitor, a custom vintage power supply in wooden box, as well as two vintage tape-decks. The lot additionally includes ephemera from the Cincinnati AppleSiders such as their first newsletter “Poke-Apple” from February of 1979 and a video recording of Steve Wozniak’s keynote speech at the 1980 “Applevention.”
The Apple-1 is widely acknowledged as the herald of the personal computer revolution, being the first pre-assembled personal computer ever sold. This example is one of 50 hand-built for the ByteShop by Steve Wozniak in the summer of 1976 in Steve Jobs’ garage (or possibly his sister’s bedroom). At the time, only a handful of people could conceive of how a personal computer might be considered useful, let alone desirable. Now, not even 40 years later, it boggles the imagination to think of life without them.
Hundreds of bidders participated in this auction, a large majority coming from the United States and Europe. The next History of Science sale will be held in October 2015.
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Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com